A Century of NAESP

NAESP is proud to celebrate 100 years of service, leadership, and advocacy for elementary and middle level principals.

In 1921, fifty-one elementary school principals met in Atlantic City to formally establish the Department of Elementary School Principals (DESP) of the National Education Association. During this centennial year we celebrate all that has resulted over the past 100 years.

On this landmark occasion we want to embrace our rich history and generate momentum toward our exciting future. We want you to engage, celebrate, and serve, as we raise awareness about our great profession and enshrine a proud legacy for future generations.

Tweet your favorite moments as members of NAESP with the hashtag #ACenturyOfNAESP, and let us know where you hope to see NAESP go as we move forward—together—to support educators, their schools, and their students.


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Take a trip down NAESP memory lane, with a look at key moments in our history that highlight the service, leadership, and advocacy of the association and its members since 1921.

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NAESP’s history is rich with leaders in education who advocated for the profession, kept education a national priority, and ignited a passion for learning among students.